What Good Looks Like framework in digital adult social care published

NHS England has recently published a new version of its What Good Looks Like framework, specifically for digital working in adult social care.

The framework is intended to set out “what good digital working looks like for care providers and local authorities with responsibility for adult social care in England”. It does this through setting out a series of common goals under the wider vision of the “People at the Heart of Care” reform white paper.

Aimed at individuals with a responsibility for digital transformation in local authorities and care provider organisations, the guidance follows the What Good Looks Like  7 success measures, to be: well led, ensure smart foundations, safe practice, support workforce, empower people, improve care, and healthy populations.

Success measure 1 – well led

Focusing on how leadership, management and governance of adult social care organisations can support digital innovation, this measure presents guidance on improving understanding and investment in digital technologies.

“Your organisation’s leaders fully understand the benefits of digital technology and have the confidence and capability to drive forward digital transformation, sharing and learning from best practice.”

Some guidance for local authorities on work they should be doing in this regard includes: have strong representation on the integrated care board to positively influence digital strategy; ensure internal decision-making and investment boards understand the potential for technology to make productivity and efficiency savings; ensure staff at all levels have the knowledge and digital skills to plan and deliver digitally enabled social care; and ensure data sharing and use is done in line with data protection laws.

Similarly, separate guidance for care providers includes that they should: ensure staff in leadership positions have the knowledge and skills to deliver digital transformation and build digital confidence; have clear investment plans to successfully embed the use of digital technology across the organisation; ensure leaders have a continued understanding of initial and ongoing infrastructure requirements in care settings; and draw on accurate and timely data to understand care needs and outcomes of the people they support.

Success measure 2 – ensure smart foundations

Considering how access to the right technology is essential to the use of digital solutions to improve care outcomes, this section focuses on digital infrastructure and capability.

“Your organisation has modern and secure digital infrastructure, and staff have reliable access to comprehensive and up-to-date digital records.”

In line with this, local authorities should: work with the wider ICS to facilitate a fully shared care record across health and social care; prioritise interoperability and national good practice standards on data sharing; consider the role of digital solutions when supporting the local authority workforce or responding to capacity, efficiency or capability challenges; and work with the wider ICS to support care providers to adopt DSCRs and technologies that support the quality and safety of care.

Care providers should: ensure access to a reliable internet connection which supports digital working; equip staff with a mobile device capable of using DSCRs in domiciliary care settings; use secure cloud data storage to support the increase in data that may not be supported by computer hard drives; and work with partners to ensure a safe and secure transition to digital solutions.

Success measure 3 – safe practice

Up-to-date cyber security and safe digital practice is an important part of the guidance.

“Good data and cyber security means organisations can safely use and share information which can improve care and support for people.”

Local authorities should: ensure they meet the requirements of GDPR and the Data Protection Act 2018; have a Caldicott Guardian, a senior member of staff who can be consulted when data sharing may raise legal or ethical concerns; work with providers to ensure robust resilience plans are in place; and embed good cyber security practices.

Care providers should: ensure they meet requirements of GDPR and the Data Protection Act 2018; ensure cyber security and information governance features including data protection officers are in place; and complete the DSPT annually to ensure they meet minimum standards if CQC registered.

Success measure 4 – support workers

Helping staff to develop their digital skills and capabilities ensures the proper embedding of new technologies in delivery of quality care.

“Supporting your workforce means developing a skilled, capable workforce who can confidently identify, recommend and use appropriate technology safely and effectively for people drawing on social care.”

Local authorities should: ensure staff are supported to earn digital skills, with training and support across different roles available; support care providers and partners in ups killing their staff; and embed digital technology in frontline practice.

Care providers should: ensure staff have the right skills to use digital technology within their role; build a positive learning environment and develop plans for digital skills training; create opportunities for peer-to-peer digital learning; and ensure digital skills are part of the induction and appraisal process for all staff.

Success measure 5 – empower people

Empowering people to use digital technology confidently in supporting their independence and wellbeing, is one of the key features of the guidance.

“A person-centred approach to the design and use of digital technologies can improve people’s quality of life and wellbeing and support independence.”

In order to meet this standard, local authorities should: consider how digital technology can help meet the requirements of the Care Act 2014 in promoting wellbeing; support staff to understand the importance of personalisation and co-production with people; ensure people understand the digital technology solutions available to them; and support people to provide information through digital routes.

Care providers should: co-produce and personalise care plans with people; ensure people have the option to access and jointly manage their DSCR; and use digital technology to support people in staying connected with friends, family and the wider community.

Success measure 6 – improve care

Digital technology can play a sizeable role in granting people autonomy and independence.

“Effective use of digital technology, data and processes can support the delivery of outstanding quality and personalised care and support at the right place and at the right time.”

Local authorities should: work with the wider ICS to improve continuity of care and outcomes for people using digital technology solutions; consider how technology-enabled care can help maintain people’s independence in their own homes; and embed digital technology as part of enablement and reablement services.

Care providers should: promote a learning culture to embed digital technology in areas where it can improve outcomes; work with ICSs to understand funding for technology which can support an individual’s quality of life; and share learning and evidence of the impact of digital solutions.

Success measure 7 – healthy populations

When used correctly, data insights and digital technologies can help to inform about the care and support needs of the wider population.

“Having good data to understand and plan for the needs of the population (whether at a community level or individual level) means that we can reduce inequalities and improve outcomes for all people.”

For local authorities it sets out to: ensure they are aware of the correct ways to use data; work with providers and ICSs to improve wellbeing and equality across communities; have a shared data solution across the local authority to support real-world evidencing; and work to promote and encourage data intelligence in the voluntary and community sector.

For care providers, it notes to ensure they are aware of the correct ways to use data; use data to identify solutions to improve outcomes; and work with partners in the local health and care system to improve population health management.

To read the guidance in full, please click here.